Who is Abygayle Ivey?
Abygayle is a member of Women in InfoSec Caribbean (WISC), a second-year student at the University of the West Indies Mona in Jamaica. She’s currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science and is an ambassador for Youth Can Do IT (YCDI). YCDI is a youth empowerment organization that uses technology and strengths-based initiatives to develop and empower the youth. WISC is a non-profit initiative that helps Caribbean women and girls to develop a career in Information Security.
How did your interest develop?
Initially, I wanted to be a Doctor, but my interest shifted to Technology. At a younger age, I built websites for fun with friends who I met online that shared similar interests as me.
I was involved in a club at High School (Westwood High School) called Techno Business Club. During club sessions, I’d try to teach small things, like how to use Photoshop. I’d also assist students with any issues they had with their I.T. SBA.
In grade 13, I participated in the Caribbean Girls Hackathon with a team of 3 other students. We developed an app called Plate Alert, which allows persons to take a picture of a vehicle’ license plate (e.g. a taxi) or enter the license plate number in the app to verify if it’s a valid taxi. We faced many challenges that day, but we managed to win the competition! I used that win to fuel my drive to continue with Technology. In short order, I was granted the opportunity to be a part of the YCDI Youth Mentorship program. Being a part of this mentorship program helped me understand my core values and how to be agile. It provided numerous networking opportunities.
I eventually became an Ambassador for YCDI and worked on different projects such as iRose Tech Programme where the areas covered included website development, content creation, resume writing and personal development. There was a Digital Learning day where we introduced young girls to HTML & CSS so that they could build webpages from scratch. Being a part of these projects granted me the opportunity to help foster growth and development in others.
Hunting for resources
I started doing some research to learn about Cyber Security, and then I came across an ad on Twitter for Women in InfoSec Caribbean and decided to join. Being a part of the community was one of the best decisions I’ve made as it has opened many doors for me to develop my skills in Cyber Security.
After intense researching, I came across the Seida 2020 Virtual Internship in collaboration with Mosse Security Institute & SheSecures. Fortunately, I, along with 11 other candidates, got accepted. The internship is a remote programme to develop and acquire the industry desired practical skills. The experience I will gain through completing their practical skills Internship Programme will provide me with my professional confidence, acumen and experience to apply it to any industry technology or job in a security team. This also positions me to have the rigour to research and deliver appropriate technology solutions, thus becoming a valued member of the IT community.
What advice do you have for others?
What I have noticed with many young persons within my age bracket is more talk than action. They say they want to do many things but fail in actually doing them. I realised that the moment I decided to take Cyber Security more seriously, I found many different opportunities. As such, I would advise others to put themselves out there and find the opportunities because it will not come to you. You’d be surprised to know the number of organizations that want to help people like us.
What is next for Abygayle?
I’m currently working on my website where I will be sharing my journey into cyber security, motivational talks and much more. I’m also enrolled in online classes for CompTIA Security+ with trainer Gavin Dennis (Cyber Security Consultant), and I hope to be certified by the end of this year.
Final encouragement for other women
Don’t be intimidated by men or the workload because once you really want it, you can apply yourself. Just go for it.
You can connect with Abygayle through:
- The WISC group on Discord – discord.com/invite/Fffu9xJ
- LinkedIn – linkedin.com/in/abygayle-ivey-bb3209174/